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When I Found You Paperback – April 23, 2013
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About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author and co-author of nineteen books, including When I Found You, Second Hand Heart, When You Were Older, and Don’t Let Me Go. Her novel Pay It Forward was included on the ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults list, translated into twenty-three foreign editions, and turned into a major Warner Brothers motion picture. Her short stories have received honorable mentions in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, nominations for Pushcart Prizes and the O. Henry Award, and citations in the Best American Short Stories anthologies. Along with Anne R. Allen, she recently co-authored How To Be A Writer In The E-Age…And Keep Your E-Sanity. An avid traveler and amateur photographer, she has hiked the Grand Canyon, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and many more of the world’s most beautiful places. She currently resides in Cambria, California. For more information and book club questions, please visit the author at www.catherineryanhyde.com.
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Top customer reviews
Nathan's seemingly content life is challenged when his dog finds a newborn baby in the woods. Suddenly, Nathan finds his heart opening to the helpless infant. He wants to adopt the child -- a prospect his wife scoffs at -- and believes that fate conspired to bring him into the boy's life. When it turns out that the child has a grandmother who will take him in, Nathan is disappointed but determined to stay in the boy's life, even as an invisible guardian who sends holiday presents. He asks that the grandmother not forget him and that she tells the child about "the man in the woods".
The author writes the part of Gamma (Grandma) very believably. She's tough and stern, but edged with caring. She does what she thinks is best for young Nat, which is lie to him. Later, when he learns the truth he becomes an angry young man.
The grandmother loses control over Nat and remembers Nathan's insistence that he would always be there for the child. She shows up at Nathan's doorstep with the young man in tow and Nathan readily agrees to take him in.
The series of events that follow are really too good to spoil in a review, but the author takes no shortcuts with this story. She follows through with realistically difficult but tender years, well into Nat's adulthood. There are no quick fixes or miracles, only a steadiness of commitment and belief. No instant "cure", but the kind of quiet love that doesn't give up even when times are tough.
"When I Found You" is an excellent read and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes realistic stories of the human experience.
This was a very nice and almost touching story. But it was not a good book. The dialog felt a little forced and I never felt connected to the characters. Even at the end, without giving any spoilers, I didn’t feel even a little sadness – which for me is very rare (I’m way too emotional when I’m emerged in a book). It felt way too long, and I was hoping for an ending far before it actually ended (and it’s not a long book, just dragged to the point of feeling that way). I was honestly fairly bored through the whole thing and kept waiting for some sort of climax or twist or breathtaking moment that never came.
I have no idea how I am the only one who felt this way. All the other reviewers seemed to really really enjoy this novel. But I am not one of them. There’s a possibility that part of that was due to the terrible narrator on the Audible version, but even taking that annoyance out, the story was not gripping or even a little remarkable. I feel let down. And a tiny bit miffed that I wasted such precious time that could have been spent on an actually decent book.
Most of the action takes place though dialogue, which comes off as rather stilted. The characters come off as almost too polite, even when they are in disagreement with each other. I did not feel the characters were well-developed or believable, despite the length of the novel. Honestly, it felt like reading a rough draft.
The book takes place over the course of almost forty years, and the moments that Hyde has chosen to highlight in that time span seem to be hit or miss. Often we skip big moments of epiphany and self-awareness in the characters lives and are just thrown into the next plot point.
In short, I commend the concept of the novel, but feel that it would need a few rounds of edits and re-writes to become something truly powerful and gripping.